Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

April 1, 2024

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Did you know that 10 million people worldwide are currently living with Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s disease is a brain condition that causes problems with movement, mental health, sleep, pain, and other health issues, according to the World Health Organization. Nearly 90,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year.

Here are ten signs that you might have the disease, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation:

  1. Tremor- A tremor while at rest is a common early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
  2. Small handwriting- You may notice the way you write words on a page has changed, such as letter sizes are smaller, and the words are crowded together. A change in handwriting may be a sign of Parkinson’s disease called micrographia.
  3. Loss of smell- If you seem to have more trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice, you should ask your doctor about Parkinson’s.
  4. Trouble sleeping- Sudden movements during sleep may be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.
  5. Trouble moving or walking- An early sign might be stiffness or pain in your shoulder or hips. People sometimes say their feet seem “stuck to the floor.”
  6. Constipation- Straining to move your bowels can be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
  7. A soft or low voice- If there has been a change in your voice you should see your doctor about whether it could be Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes you might think other people are losing their hearing, when really you are speaking more softly.
  8. Masked face- Having a serious, depressed, or mad look on your face, even when you are not in a bad mood? This is often called facial masking.
  9. Dizziness or fainting- Feeling dizzy or fainting can be a sign of low blood pressure and can be linked to Parkinson’s disease.
  10. Stooping or hunching over- If you or your family or friends notice that you seem to be stooping, leaning, or slouching when you stand, it could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.

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